Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Youtube: all the Penny Songs I've recorded so far (with subtitles)

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nokh a bisl un epes nokh (A little more and something more)

UPDATE: I decided to record this one myself with the first and third verses. Here's my version from yesterday:

This was probably an instrumental first - a klezmer tune - and the text was probably written later. The tune "Nokh a bisl" is still very popular with klezmer bands.

Again with the ridiculous amount of eating! This theme comes up over and over again in the songs of Eastern European immigrants. They were not used to the ostentatious abundance common in the U.S. and were fascinated, repulsed, and --- hungry.

I've used Simon Pascal's wonderful rendition of Epes Nokh in this video; his 1913 Victor recording was downloaded from Jewniverse.

On the record label it's spelled Eppess noch and the singer's name is Simon Paskel. One also finds Simon Paskal.

Simon Paskal (1881-1930) was born in Romania and came to America in 1900. Later he became a vaudeville actor but wasn't particularly successful; he then became a cantor. His ambition had been to become an opera singer.

Here's his recording with my subtitles:

His version follows the text from the American Yiddish Penny Songs collection closely for two verses but has a completely different third verse which I don't feel qualified to transcribe. You'll find the third verse from the broadside below, in case you want more, and there's yet another verse on the sheet music (full of foods I was not able to google).

Visit Yiddish Song of the Week for more on the "Lena from Palesteena" motif heard in this melody.

Visit Itsik for four more ribald verses set to this melody.

So here is the text and the translation, from the songsheet as sold on the streets of the Lower East Side around 1913:

Ikh bin a groyser freser, keyn zakh lib ikh nit beser
Vi nor kayen, esn, fresn fil oy oy oy
Ir megt fun mir lakhn, nor git mir gute zakhn,
Plenti nashn, ot dos vos ikh vil.
Mer ikh es un mer ikh trinkt on shir
Imer mer, imer glust zikh mir,

Oy, vey,
epes nokh un epes nokh un nokh nokh nokh
Un nokh a steak un nokh a cake un nokh nokh nokh
Nokh a yakhl arayn in baykhl, nokh a chicken arayn tsurikn,
Nokh, nokh oy un epes nokh

Ot voyn ikh bay a mises, tsu fres ikh zi af 'pieces'
Far mir tsu kokhn hot zi shoyn mer keyn koyekh
Vayl ikh hob zi farmutshet, der man, er shrayt un kvitshet,
Ikh fres af ales vos zi kokht
Der man muz in restorant esn geyn
Vayl dem gantsn 'sopper' git zi mir aleyn

Oy vey
Epes nokh un epes nokh un nokh nokh nokh
Nokh a bisl arayn in shisl un nokh nokh nokh
Nokh a kheyn'dl un nokh a beyndl, nokh a bulke un nokh a pulke
Un nokh, nokh, un epes nokh...

Ikh gey mir in theater un ze dos zelbe vayter
Mer ikh ze, als mer iz mayn bager
Derze ikh a sheyn meydl mit a 'fency' kleydl,
Nemt zi tantsn, shray ikh - ikh vil mer!
Ikh aplodir kumt zi vider aroys
Fangt zi on tsu tantsn, shray ikh oys:

Oy vey
Epes nokh un epes nokh un nokh nokh nokh
Genendel tsayg dos zakn bendel nokh nokh nokh
Nokh a dreydl gib zikh, meydl, nokh a bisl hoyb di fisl
Un nokh, nokh oy un epes nokh

I'm a big eater, there's nothing I love more
than chewing, eating, gorging a lot, oy oy
You can laugh at me, but give me good things,
Plenty to snack on, that's what I want.
I eat more, I drink more, endlessly,
Always more, I always desire more.

Oy vey! A little more and more and more more more
Another steak, another cake, and more more more
Another broth into my belly, another chicken to shove in,
More, more, and a little more.

I live with a landlady here, I eat her to pieces,
She doesn't have the strength to cook for me any more.
Because I exhausted her, her man cries and shrieks.
I gobble down everything she cooks.
Her husband has to go to a restaurant to eat
Because she gives the whole supper just to me.

Oy vey! A little more and more and more more more
A little more in the bowl, more more more
A little more flirting, some more "benefits"
Another dinner roll, another drumstick,
More, more, oy, and a little more.

I go to the theater and see more of the same
The more I see, the more I desire
I catch sight of a pretty girl in a fancy dress
She starts dancing, I shout - I want more!
I applaud, she comes out again,
She starts dancing, I shout out:

Oy vey! A little more and more and more more more
Genendl, show your garters (ribbons on your socks)
Twirl again, girl, lift your leg
More, more, and a little more
More, more, oy, and a little more.

Here's the sheet music cover:
The sheet music says "words by Louis Gilrod, music by M. J. Rubinstein." I think all Rubinstein wrote was some filler bars and an alternative third melodic section which was jettisoned in the Paskal recording and also does not appear on the Penny Song broadside.

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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